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Hisense Sero 7 Pro

After debuting solid 7-inch Android slates at low prices in WalMart stores, Hisense is dropping prices by $20. The Sero 7 LT is now $79 while the Sero 7 Pro costs $129. Both cuts are likely an attempt to spur back-to-school sales. The latter tablet is a great value in my opinion, with specs and performance that fall between last year’s $199 Nexus 7 and this year’s $229 model.

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The second most populous nation on earth is making the move towards smartphones at a faster pace: Year over year shipments in India grew 129 percent in the second quarter of 2013, per research firm Canalys. Samsung accounted for a third of those shipments, followed by local vendor Micromax. Karbonn, Sony and Nokia round out the top five.  Apple was nowhere to be seen. Again.

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Google Sync support on Windows Phones was set to cease on July 31, but the service gains a reprieve until Dec. 31. Microsoft has included CalDAV and CardDAV support in Windows Phone to replace Google Sync. However, not all Windows Phone handsets have the new software. This extension should give Microsoft enough time to push the software out to all of its devices.

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Microsoft Surface RT

Microsoft’s 10-Q filing shows that total Surface product revenue for last quarter was $853 million, which is less than the $900 million inventory adjustment the company took for Surface RT. Bearing in mind that the total revenue figure includes sales of both Surface Pro and Surface RT, it’s pretty clear that consumers — and hardware makers — haven’t been kind to Surface RT. But we knew why that would happen.

In Brief

HTC One silver featured

Sales of the HTC One flagship are higher than last year’s model, but HTC needs more than just one hot handset. On Tuesday, the company provided operating margin guidance of 0 to -8 percent in the third quarter on expected revenues of between NT$50 billion an NT$60 billion (US $1.7 billion and US $2 billion). HTC plans to launch “a range of innovative and competitive mid-tier products” in the fourth quarter, which could help it broaden its potential customer base.

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Samsung is reportedly launching a version of the Galaxy Note 2 on China Mobile, the largest mobile operator on the planet. The new model will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 chip instead of Samsung’s own silicon. Why? Because China Mobile, which has 740 million subscribers, uses a network comprised of TD-SCDMA, W-CDMA, TDD-LTE, and FDD-LTE technology; a unique mix that Samsung’s own chip currently doesn’t support.

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